Though Maine is known for its delicious seafood cuisine, rocky coastline, picture perfect waterways, and freezing temperatures, there are some little known gems that most people probably don’t know about. Maine is the setting for most of Stephen King’s novels, but did you know he’s actually from the state? What about those old landline phones no one uses anymore? There’s now a museum in Maine that collects and preserves them. Keep reading to find more of those little known travel stops in the state!
Stephen King’s House– Bangor
Though the famous horror story author is still living in the mansion, fans and tourists alike still drive or walk by the house to witness its odd and chilling charm. Stephen King was born and Maine, and despite his celebrity status, still lives in his home state. The houses on this street are all mansion like and close to the road, so public viewing of the house isn’t a problem. King’s is a red house with a white trim and looks old enough to be turned into a museum. The whole house is also in full view, though it has a fence to surround it. The fence itself is very much King-esque spidery and bat winged creatures. A three headed reptile also decorates the black iron fence.
Wiggly Bridge– York
Southern Maine is a destination with fancy beaches and picture perfect lighthouses. York, more specifically, makes for the ideal summer vacation spot. Most travelers decide to take the direct route to the coast, but the occasional explorer will be rewarded with the views of the scenic route. Route 103 is one of these roads and is where you’ll find this unsteady walkway in Southern Maine.
Though the bridge wasn’t built till the 1930s, its location was still important to the second oldest incorporated town in Maine. The water to the left is the York River, and to the right is a century old Barrell Mill Pond. The pond was formed when settlers built a dam for energy to give power to a sawmill and gristmill. This was middle ground for settlers because the boundaries of the pond was also an important way for farmers and traders to do business. On the other end of the Wiggly Bridge, the nature reserve Steedman Woods can be found waiting for the summer hikers. There are easy and short hiking trails covered by trees with a beautiful scenery of wild roses.
The Wiggly Bridge got its name from an observant group of Girl Scouts who noticed the bridge’s wobbly features. The Wiggly Bridge is free to visit and is open year round. You can park on the eastbound side of Route 103 and feel free to bring your dog, but make sure he’s on a leash and watch out for ticks and poison ivy!
Telephone Museum– Ellsworth
Located in a small warehouse, the Telephone Museum preserves and portrays the almost useless technology that was the beginning of nationwide communication and the start of what we use today as communication tools.
The museum was established in 1984 as the corded phone monopoly was coming to an end. They had the opportunity to preserve a piece of telephonic technology known as the “Panel,” which is their prized possession. Since opening, they have been able to collect equipment and tools from the long gone days of switchboards. The phones on display such as crank phones, hand-operated switchboards, and other talking devices still work and visitors and even encouraged to dial up another visitor in the museum! Because the telephone is such a revolutionary idea, the Telephone Museum is working hard to ensure it is never forgotten.
Wild Blueberry Land– Columbia Falls
Look just past Route 1 in Columbia Hills and you’ll find a huge, bright blue dome shaped building that may keep you guessing as to just what its purpose is. It’s a bakery dedicated to blueberries, of course! Wild Blueberry Land is a seven acre lot that is covered in fake blueberries, one of the states three native fruits. Besides the bakery, its main attraction is the blueberry themed mini golf course that contains a lighthouse, shipwreck, a grandfather clock and a satellite dish that was turned into a huge blueberry pie. If you win the game, you get to choose a fresh vegetable growing in the grounds as your prize.
Wild Blueberry Land is owned by a baker and a farmer: Dell and Marie Emerson. Dell was once a researcher at the University of Maine’s blueberry farmland now tends to the 220-acre Wild Wescogus Berries, and Marie makes and creates at the treats and sweets! In addition, the land has a program that educates youngsters about farming, gardening and preservation and gives great information about the agriculture of the area.
While driving by to snack on delicious blueberries, travelers stop on the side of the highway to bask in the beauty of the blueberry farm. Though it’s closed during the winter, there are still people taking photos of the blue dome building, beautifully covered in snow.
Hannibal Hamlin Death Couch-Bangor
After stopping by Stephen King’s red mansion, head over to the Hannibal Hamlin Death Couch and see where Abraham Lincoln’s vice president took his final breath on July 4, 1891. The old couch is located at the Bangor Public Library of Maine. Though it still looks pretty comfy, visitors and readers still aren’t allowed to sit down for a read on the couch. They still want the last person to ever use the couch to be Hannibal Hamlin.
In addition to being Lincoln’s first VP, he was also a United States Senator and Congressman from Maine and was even Maine’s governor for almost a month. He is most known for banning alcohol on the congressional floor.
Hamlin was pushed to the back burner during Lincoln’s second run for president for Andrew Johnson who became president after Lincoln was assassinated. He returned to Maine after retirement and collapsed during a game of cards at the Tarratine Club in Bangor on July 4th, 1989. Later that night, he died on the couch that is on display at the Bangor Public Library. To observe the couch, just head into the first floor of the library and look to the right.
Devil’s Footprint– Manchester
Spooky myth ahead! An odd mark in a stone fence of a cemetery is said to have been created by the Devil himself…
A group of construction workers during an unknown time frame were busy building a road when they saw a massive rock that proved to be stationary and immovable. Soon, a construction worker decided to climb the rock and stated he’d sell his soul to the devil if the rock was ever moved. That very next day, the exact rock had indeed been moved. As for the construction worker? He disappeared and was never seen again. All that is left is some odd marks and indentations on the boulder. Today, the rock blends in with a cemetery wall and is known for holding the devil’s footprint.
The stone actually has two separate footprints: One is triangular that is supposedly the mark of a hoof and the other looks like human footprints meshed together. Another story states that a man was being chased by Satan across rock. Someone decided to paint the mark to make it easier to see.
America’s First Mile – Fort Kent
Made in 1926 by combining two regional highways into one, United States Route 1 is 2,369 miles long and begins in Fort Kent and runs all the way down to Key West, Florida. Its only starting point is marked with a granite monument that begins America’s First Mile, though it runs through most major places on the Eastern Seaboard. Until 2010, the beginning of the highway was only marked with a simple wooden sign. The new monument and plaza were built in such a place that overlooks the bridge across the St. John River to Claire, New Brunswick. If you’re at the monument looking for Route 1, don’t look south. The highway actually leaves Fort Kent to the north, looping to the contour of the border of Saint Leonard. Then it finally turns south and heads for the Florida Keys.